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Chetco Bar Fire

Unit Information

Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest
U.S. Forest Service
3040 Biddle Rd.
Medford, OR 97504

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Chetco Bar Fire Update - September 1, 2017

Chetco Bar Fire Wildfire
News – 9/1/2017

Weather and Fire Behavior: Gusty, offshore winds will continue this morning. The forecast is for critical fire weather and the potential for extreme fire behavior due to low relative humidity and high temperatures with unstable atmospheric conditions. Significant perimeter growth and smoke column development are possible. Winds have the potential to carry embers seven tenths of a mile or more.

The National Weather Service issued a Red Flag Warning for critical fire weather Friday afternoon. There is an Excessive Heat Warning through Labor Day for temperatures significantly above normal.

Yesterday: Active fire growth continued on the north, south and east perimeter. The fire continued eastward into areas previously during the 2002 Biscuit Fire. A smoke column developed on the southeast corner of the fire, rising up to 10,000 feet.

Aircraft dropped retardant and water along the southwest and western portions of the fire. Firefighters continued constructing direct and indirect line along the northwest and south flanks of the fire. Oregon State Fire Marshal task forces finished preparing structures in the Winchuck and Pistol River areas.

Today: On the west and northwest side of the fire, crews continue mopup where fire has been contained while constructing direct and indirect lines northeast toward Snow Camp along the Pistol River. On the south end of the fire, below Emily Creek, crews are securing anchor points, using existing road networks to check fire growth. Tactical patrols on the southwest and western perimeter of the fire continue. Aircraft will assist with suppression work as visibility and weather allow.

On the eastern flank, firefighters are opening fire lines previously constructed during the 2002 Biscuit Fire. Crews will also assess structures along the Illinois River just east of the Kalmiopsis Wilderness.
Smoke production is expected to be significantly today. Light Northeast winds will drift smoke toward coastal areas into Gold Beach, Brookings and far South into NW California. Highway 101 and local roadways will see reduced visibility in
these areas. A light sea breeze later today is expected to give some reprieve to coastal communities this afternoon. In the Agness, Cave Junction, and Grants Pass regions, heavy smoke impacts are expected to remain as smoke from several fires drain into these communities.

Evacuations: At 9:30 PM last night, Curry County Sheriff’s Office expanded the Level 2 Evacuation Order to include all areas along Winchuck River Road east of, and including, Peavine Ridge Road.
The Red Cross evacuation shelter is in Gold Beach at the Curry County Fairgrounds showcase building, 29392 Ellensburg Avenue. Tolowa Dee-ni’Nation is also operating a shelter at The Xaa-wan’-k’wvt Village & Resort (old Ship Ashore) RV Park located at 12370 Highway 101 North in Smith River. Residents are encouraged to monitor the interactive evacuation map for changes: http://arcg.is/2vWQN2N

Closures: There are no closures on Highway 101 through Brookings. Local businesses, restaurants, and lodging establishments in Brookings and Harbor remain open for business. Several large wildfires are burning in southwest Oregon. Area closures have been implemented on the Rogue River – Siskyou National Forest and BLM lands. Fire restrictions are in place: http://bit.ly/2erUN5B.